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Man who called Emmerson Mnangagwa 'murderer' appears in court

Gustiv Kativhu was charged for calling Mnangagwa a "murderer" at the recently concluded Zanu-PF congress that sealed former President Robert Mugabe's fall from grace.

FILE: Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks at Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party headquarters in Harare on 22 November 2017. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - A man has appeared in court after he was charged for undermining the authority of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Gustiv Kativhu was charged for calling Mnangagwa a "murderer" at the recently concluded Zanu-PF congress that sealed former president Robert Mugabe's fall from grace.

He was arrested at Robert Mugabe Square where the ruling party had met to endorse Mnangagwa as party leader on Friday.

Meanwhile, Mugabe may have been deposed as president, but some of the ruling party’s senior officials are struggling to stop mentioning the man who dominated their country for 37 years.

Two government ministers were left embarrassed at a party congress on Friday when they used the name of the veteran leader when referring to the man who replaced him after last month’s de facto coup, new president Mnangagwa.

Energy Minister and Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo chanted “Forward with President Mugabe!” in the native Shona language before hastily correcting himself to “Forward with President ED Mnangagwa”.

Mnangagwa, who was sworn in as president of the southern African country on 24 November initially sat stony-faced before breaking into a smile when another official whispered to him.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa also started referring to Mugabe as the party’s candidate for elections due in 2018 before correcting himself. Mnangagwa was endorsed as the Zanu-PF leader and candidate for the top job for the vote which he said on Thursday said could be sooner than expected.

Mugabe himself was out of the country. Sources said he visited a hospital in Singapore this week, apparently for medical checks.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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